Given the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic, The Synergist provided early digital access to the cover article for our May 2020 issue. This article discusses, in question-and-answer format, aspects of COVID-19 believed to be relevant to industrial hygienists and the overall health and safety community. Read "COVID-19 and the Industrial Hygienist" now.

As industrial hygienists mobilize to address the most severe public health crisis of our lifetimes, Synergist staff remain committed to sharing practical knowledge, guidance, and perspectives from IH leaders and respected authorities. Synergist coverage of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is collected below.

CDC Updates Information on Ventilation in Buildings
April 8, 2021

CDC has updated its webpage on building ventilation strategies to mitigate occupants’ exposure to and the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. READ MORE

Union, OSHA Raise Awareness of Counterfeit Respirators in Healthcare

April 8, 2021

A new guide created by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) union is intended to help health workers identify counterfeit N95 respirators. READ MORE

CDC Study Shows Effectiveness of mRNA Vaccines Against SARS-CoV-2
April 1, 2021

A CDC study of prospective cohorts of essential and frontline workers shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are effective for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections in real-world conditions. READ MORE

NIOSH Disaster Science Responder Research Program Releases Agenda for COVID-19
March 25, 2021

NIOSH’s Disaster Science Responder Research Program has published its COVID-19 Research Agenda, which is intended to serve as a framework for planning the agency’s occupational health research efforts relevant to the ongoing pandemic response. READ MORE

International Committee Seeks to Improve Preparedness and Response for Pandemic, Influenza

March 18, 2021

An international committee established by the National Academy of Medicine is part of a global initiative to advance pandemic and seasonal influenza preparedness and response. READ MORE

NIOSH Researchers Identify Essential Worker Categories Lacking Access to Healthcare Services

March 18, 2021

In a new study published March 9 in the online journal Public Health Reports, NIOSH researchers have identified several occupations considered “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic that lacked regular access to healthcare services in the years 2017–2018. READ MORE

OSHA Establishes National Emphasis Program to Reduce Coronavirus Exposures

March 18, 2021

An OSHA directive that went into effect on March 12 describes policies and procedures for implementing a new National Emphasis Program to reduce coronavirus exposures among workers in industries or who perform tasks that put them at high risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. READ MORE

Updated Enforcement Policy Prioritizes On-Site OSHA Inspections
March 18, 2021

An updated interim enforcement response plan issued by OSHA on March 12 prioritizes the agency’s use of on-site workplace inspections during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE

Office of Inspector General Recommends OSHA Action on COVID-19 Inspections
March 11, 2021

A surge of work site complaints to OSHA combined with reduced and mostly remote inspections have resulted in increased risk to U.S. workers’ safety, according to a report issued on Feb. 25 by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. READ MORE

National Academies Offers Emergency Response Guidance for COVID-19 Era

March 11, 2021

The Societal Experts Action Network, a project of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, has produced a rapid expert consultation that includes evacuation planning, sheltering operations, and risk communication strategies for public officials confronting hazards and disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE

"Stronger" Guidance from MSHA Aims to Protect Miners from COVID-19

March 11, 2021

New guidance issued by MSHA on March 10 is intended to help mine operators and workers mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in coal, metal, and nonmetal mines. READ MORE

Echoing Expert Findings, Congressional Leaders Urge Biden Administration to Update COVID-19 Guidance

March 4, 2021

A group of congressional leaders has written a letter to the Biden administration urging CDC and OSHA to address the aerosol transmission of COVID-19, in keeping with findings by infectious disease, aerosol science, and occupational health experts. READ MORE

WHO Urges Vaccine Equity, Support for Health Workers

March 4, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries and companies to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are distributed equitably and quickly, starting with health workers and those at highest risk for illness. READ MORE

ASHRAE Updates Building Reopening Guidance for HVAC Systems during COVID-19

March 4, 2021

New updates to ASHRAE’s “building readiness” document address guidance for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems intended to help mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as buildings reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE

CDC Assesses Techniques to Improve Fit of Cloth and Medical Procedure Masks

March 4, 2021

In CDC’s Feb. 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the agency evaluates common methods used to improve the fits of cloth and medical procedure masks. READ MORE

Experts Urge Biden Administration to Address Inhalation Exposure to Coronavirus
February 18, 2021

Thirteen experts in aerosol science, occupational health, and infectious diseases are calling on the Biden administration to acknowledge inhalation as the key route of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and take immediate action to limit aerosol transmission. READ MORE

Researchers Examine Required and Voluntary Use of Hazard Controls for COVID-19

February 18, 2021

A new report by NIOSH researchers characterizes the use of hazard controls like physical barriers and masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces outside of healthcare. READ MORE

EPA: Certain Copper Alloys Effective Against SARS-CoV-2
February 11, 2021

Certain high-percentage copper alloy products “provide long-term effectiveness” against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses and can continuously kill viruses that come into contact with them, EPA has announced. READ MORE

New COVID-19 Vaccine Resources Published by NIEHS and OSHA

February 11, 2021

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program and OSHA have developed new resources that address workplace health and safety issues related to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination programs. READ MORE

“Stronger” Workplace COVID-19 Guidance Published by OSHA
February 4, 2021

New guidance published by OSHA on Jan. 29 is intended to help employers and workers identify risks of being exposed to or contracting COVID-19 and determine effective control measures to mitigate or prevent its spread in workplaces. READ MORE

NIOSH to Host Respirator Training and Fit-Testing Webinar on Feb. 16

February 4, 2021

NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory will hold an hour-long webinar on elastomeric half-mask respirators in healthcare settings on Feb. 16. READ MORE

NIOSH Webinar to Focus on Worker Health, Safety in Post-Pandemic World

February 4, 2021

On March 10, NIOSH will host a free webinar on topics related to the future of worker health and safety in the post-pandemic world as part of its Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series. READ MORE

Executive Orders Address COVID-19 Control Measures in the Workplace
January 28, 2021

Several executive orders signed by President Joe Biden during his first week in office address the health, safety, and well-being of American workers. Two executive orders in particular focus on protecting the general and federal workforces from COVID-19. READ MORE

CDC Releases Employer Toolkit for COVID-19 Vaccine Communication

January 28, 2021

As states begin to vaccinate essential workers against COVID-19, a new toolkit from CDC is intended to help employers communicate relevant information to their employees. READ MORE

Virginia Adopts Permanent Standard to Control COVID-19 Spread in Workplaces

January 28, 2021

The Commonwealth of Virginia has adopted a permanent standard that requires employers to take certain measures to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Virginia workplaces. READ MORE

Workshop Highlights Respiratory Hazards for "Nontraditional Workers," Public
January 14, 2021

Hazards such as wildland fires, air pollution, and infectious diseases are “growing threats to the respiratory safety of many nontraditional workers and members of the general public,” according to a new publication released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. READ MORE

New CDC Page Focuses on COVID-19 Building Ventilation Strategies
January 7, 2021

A new webpage published by CDC provides information on ventilation interventions for building owners, managers, and health and safety professionals intended to help reduce the concentration and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in their facilities. READ MORE

2020 Archive

December

National Academies Highlights Strategies for Tracking Deaths, Burnout from COVID-19 in Healthcare
December 17, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Study Examines Potential for Source Control of FFRs with an Exhalation Valve

December 10, 2020
| READ

New COVID-19 Information for Healthcare Personnel in Schools, Childcare Settings Published by CDC

December 10, 2020
| READ

NIH-Funded Team Releases Online Tool to Help Organizations Plan COVID-19 Testing

December 10, 2020
| READ

FDA Issues Policy for Bioburden Reduction Systems Using Dry Heat to Support Reuse of FFRs
December 3, 2020
| READ

California Becomes Fourth State to Adopt Emergency Standards for COVID-19

December 3, 2020
| READ

Former OSHA Administrator Joins COVID-19 Advisory Board for Biden-Harris Transition

December 3, 2020
| READ

November

CDC Releases Science Agenda for COVID-19
November 24, 2020
| READ

State-Mandated Mitigation Measures Reduce COVID-19 Impacts, CDC Finds

November 24, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Approves First Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator Without Exhalation Valve
November 19, 2020
| READ

CDC Recommends Community Use of Multilayered Cloth Masks to Control COVID-19 Spread

November 19, 2020
| READ

OSHA: Cloth Face Coverings Are Not PPE Under Agency Standard

November 19, 2020
| READ

OSHA Releases Most Frequently Cited Standards from COVID-19 Inspections
November 12, 2020
| READ

CDC: Report Identifies COVID-19 Risks to Healthcare Personnel and Residents in Long-Term Care Settings

November 12, 2020
| READ

OSHA's Respiratory Protection Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities Emphasizes Source Control
November 5, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Webinar to Focus on Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirator Use in Healthcare, EMS

November 5, 2020
| READ

October

CDC Updates Definition of COVID-19 "Close Contact"
October 29, 2020
| READ

OSHA Addresses Claims That N95s Do Not Protect Against SARS-CoV-2
October 22, 2020
| READ

FDA Will No Longer Authorize Respirators for Emergency Use Under Predetermined Eligibility Criteria

October 22, 2020
| READ

New Emergency Rules for COVID-19 in Effect in Michigan

October 22, 2020
| READ

CDC: Community Mitigation Efforts Slowed COVID-19 Spread in Arizona
October 15, 2020
| READ

OSHA to Use Discretion When Enforcing Fit-Testing Requirements for PAPRs in Healthcare

October 8, 2020
| READ

CDC Acknowledges Airborne Spread of SARS-CoV-2

October 8, 2020
| READ

EPA Webinar to Focus on Cleaning, Disinfection of Schools

October 8, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Announces Webinar on Stockpile, Distribution of Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirators

October 8, 2020
| READ

OSHA Seeks to Clarify Recording, Reporting Requirements for Work-Related Cases of COVID-19
October 1, 2020
| READ

CDC Report Analyzes Demographics of Healthcare Workers with COVID-19

October 1, 2020
| READ

September

OSHA Guidance Addresses Face Coverings in Hot, Humid Conditions
September 24, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Seeks Input on Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirator Use in Healthcare, EMS
September 17, 2020
| READ

CDC Fact Sheets Focus on Heat Stress Prevention During COVID-19
September 10, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Forms Team to Provide Occupational Health and Safety Guidance for COVID-19

September 10, 2020
| READ

CDC Publishes Strategies for Limiting Workplace Violence Related to COVID-19 Policies
September 3, 2020
| READ

New Document Aids Compliance with Respiratory Protection Standard During COVID-19

September 3, 2020
| READ

NIH Establishes "Early Warning" Network for Emerging Diseases

September 3, 2020
| READ

August

Temporary Rule Proposed by Oregon OSHA Would Address COVID-19 in All Workplaces
August 27, 2020
| READ

ASHRAE Updates Guidance to Mitigate Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as Buildings Reopen

August 27, 2020
| READ

OSHA and FDA Publish Checklist for Food Manufacturers During COVID-19

August 27, 2020
| READ

NIOSH to Hold Webinar on COVID-19 Research Partnerships
August 20, 2020
| READ

Construction Safety Stand-Down Rescheduled for Mid-September

August 20, 2020
| READ

CDC: Plain Language Key for COVID-19 Communication with Workers
August 13, 2020
| READ

Aug. 19 Webinar to Focus on Protecting Building Engineering, Maintenance Staff from COVID-19

August 13, 2020
| READ

CDC: Voting in Milwaukee Does Not Appear to Have Increased SARS-CoV-2 Transmission
August 6, 2020
| READ

National Academies Highlights Strategies for Encouraging Protective Behaviors During Pandemic

August 6, 2020
| READ

CDC: COVID-19 Outbreak Occurred at Overnight Camp Despite Preventive Measures

August 6, 2020
| READ

July

CDC: COVID-19 Can Result in Prolonged Illness, Even for Previously Healthy Young Adults
July 30, 2020
| READ

New FAQs Address COVID-19 Concerns of Medicolegal Death Investigators

July 30, 2020
| READ

Quick-Reference Resource from CDC Describes Strategies for PPE Shortages
July 23, 2020
| READ

New CDC Site Collects Guidance on Natural Disaster Response During COVID-19

July 23, 2020
| READ

Virginia Adopts Emergency Workplace Safety Standards for COVID-19 Pandemic
July 16, 2020
| READ

CDC: Adherence to Face-Covering Policy at Salon "Likely Mitigated Spread of SARS-CoV-2"

July 16, 2020
| READ

CDC Releases Guidance on SARS-CoV-2 Testing for Non-Healthcare Workplaces

July 16, 2020
| READ

WHO Considers Potential of Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Indoor Settings

July 16, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Definition of "Emergency Response Employees" Includes Firefighters, Funeral Service Practitioners

July 16, 2020
| READ

CDC: Racial, Ethnic Minorities May Be Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19 in Meat and Poultry Processing
July 9, 2020
| READ

EPA Approves Two Disinfectants Tested Directly Against SARS-CoV-2

July 9, 2020
| READ

OSHA Guidance Describes Measures to Protect Oil and Gas Workers During the Pandemic

July 9, 2020
| READ

Agencies Publish Guidance on Protecting Seafood Processing Workers from COVID-19
July 1, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Finds High Prevalence of Risky Behavior in Construction

July 1, 2020
| READ

June

OSHA Addresses Reopening of Nonessential Businesses
June 25, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Highlights Health Hazards Associated with Disinfectants Used Against Viruses

June 25, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Publishes Instructions for Preparing Solutions for Qualitative Fit Testing

June 25, 2020
| READ

OSHA Highlights Its Current Coronavirus Guidance
June 18, 2020
| READ

Agencies Publish Guidance on Agricultural Worker Protection During the Pandemic

June 18, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Webinar to Focus on Safe Return to Work During COVID-19

June 18, 2020
| READ

OSHA Publishes FAQs About Cloth Face Coverings in the Workplace
June 11, 2020
| READ

CDC: Quarantine, Distancing Among Actions That Limited COVID-19 Transmission at Basic Training
June 11, 2020
| READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Suit Against OSHA Dismissed, Research on Lockdown Effectiveness, and More
June 11, 2020
| READ

General Motors' Global Manager for Industrial Hygiene Details Efforts to Refocus Operations During COVID-19
June 6, 2020
| READ

COVID-19 Prompts Development of New Training for Essential, Returning Workers
June 6, 2020
| READ

Industrial Hygienist Discusses Challenges of Reopening Global Supply Chains During COVID-19
June 6, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Director: COVID-19 Vaccine Development Moving Quickly, but Hurdles Remain
June 1, 2020
| READ

May

Agencies Release COVID-19 Guidance for Construction Industry
May 28, 2020 | READ

CDC Publishes FAQs for Wildland Firefighters Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 28, 2020 | READ

OSHA's Revised Enforcement Policies Address In-Person Inspections, Recordkeeping
May 21, 2020 | READ

CDC Specifies Health and Safety Actions for Reopening Businesses
May 21, 2020 | READ

NIOSH Issues Alert About Damaged Head Straps on Stockpiled FFRs
May 21, 2020 | READ

NIH Issues Alert on Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Eye Exposures
May 21, 2020 | READ

CDC, OSHA Issue Guidance for Manufacturing Facilities Operating During the Pandemic
May 21, 2020 | READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: OSHA Sued, Research Partnership Formed, and More
May 21, 2020 | READ

CDC, NIOSH Address Pitfalls of Purchasing Respirators Manufactured Abroad
May 14, 2020 | READ

FDA Reissues Emergency Use Authorization for Respirators from China
May 14, 2020 | READ

OSHA Highlights Protective Measures for Dental Practitioners During COVID-19 Pandemic
May 14, 2020 | READ

CDC Guidance Aids Response Planning for Critical Infrastructure Sectors During COVID-19
May 14, 2020 | READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Essential Worker Fatigue, Fatalities in New York, and More
May 14, 2020 | READ

CDC Publishes Instructions for Optimizing Disposable Glove Supply
May 7, 2020 | READ

Large Gatherings, Workplace Spread Contributed to Thousand-Fold Increase in COVID-19 Cases
May 7, 2020 | READ

NIOSH Is Prioritizing New Respirator Approval Applications
May 7, 2020 | READ

CDC Extends Recommended Isolation Time for Persons with COVID-19 to Ten Days
May 7, 2020 | READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Disinfection Guidance, PPE Burn Rate, and More
May 7, 2020 | READ

April

Executive Order Keeps Meat Processing Facilities Open
April 30, 2020 | READ

OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance for Reuse of Decontaminated N95s
April 30, 2020 | READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Hospital Capacity Estimates, “Immunity Passports,” and More
April 30, 2020 | READ

CDC Publishes Strategies for Use of Elastomeric Respirators During COVID-19 Pandemic
April 23, 2020 | READ

OSHA Compliance Officers to Use “Discretion” When Enforcing Standards
April 23, 2020 | READ

Interim Recommendations from CDC Cover Cleaning, Disinfection for Nonemergency Vehicles
April 23, 2020 | READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Disinfecting Elastomeric Respirators, Reducing Cashiers’ Exposures, and More
April 23, 2020 | READ

NIOSH Creates “PAPR100” Class of Respirator
April 16, 2020 | READ

Labor Department Releases Interim Guidance for Recordkeeping During COVID-19 Pandemic
April 16, 2020 | READ

COVID-19 Webinar: IH Shares Best Practices for Protecting Healthcare Workers
April 16, 2020 | READ

CDC Permits “Critical” Workers to Continue Working After Exposure to COVID-19
April 16, 2020 | READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: N95 Decontamination Methods, Elastomeric Respirators Webinar, and More
April 16, 2020 | READ

OSHA Allows Extended Use and Reuse of Respirators During COVID-19 Crisis
April 9, 2020
| READ

NIOSH Study of Stockpiled Respirators May Inform Decisions to Release Expired N95s
April 9, 2020
| READ

CDC Recommends Use of Cloth Face Coverings During COVID-19 Pandemic
April 9, 2020
| READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Infection Control FAQ, Guidance on Cleaning and Disinfection, and More
April 9, 2020
| READ

NIOSH: COVID-19 Among Potentially Life-Threatening Infectious Diseases for Emergency Responders
April 2, 2020
| READ

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup for April 2: Resources for First Responders, Crisis Standards of Care, and More

April 2, 2020
| READ

Duke Health to Decontaminate N95s with Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor
April 2, 2020
| READ

To Protect Workers, Healthcare Facilities Turn to Extended Use, Reuse of N95s
April 2, 2020
| READ

Coronavirus Research from JOEH
April 2, 2020
| READ

March

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup for March 26: Training Tool, PPE Calculator, and More
March 26, 2020
| READ

CDC: Asymptomatic Transmission Contributed to Severity of Cruise Ship Outbreak
March 26,
2020 | READ

CDC Releases Return-to-Work Criteria for Healthcare Professionals with COVID-19

March 25, 2020
| READ

CDC Investigates COVID-19 Hotspot Centered on Wash. Long-Term Care Facility
March 19, 2020
| READ

OSHA Temporarily Adjusts Guidance for Respirator Fit Testing During COVID-19 Outbreak

March 16, 2020
| READ

OSHA Publishes Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus
March 12, 2020
| READ

CDC Advises Healthcare Facilities to Prepare for Community Transmission of COVID-19
March 5, 2020
| READ

February

COVID-19 Outbreak Slows in China, Climbs in Korea, Italy
February 27, 2020
| READ

CDC Adds Resources for Healthcare Workers Potentially Exposed to Coronavirus
February 13, 2020
| READ

January

WHO Declares Public Health Emergency Over Coronavirus Outbreak
January 30, 2020 | READ